The late July day was hot, dry and windy.
But the training with live ammunition at the Yakima Training Center went ahead as usual.
A gunner fired at a target and the burst of ammunition ricocheted onto the ridge line, sparking a fire that spread across 275 square miles and threatened the Hanford nuclear reservation, according to a lawsuit filed this week in federal court.
Lower Yakima Valley cattle ranchers are suing the Department of Defense for nearly $15 million for damage to their land and livelihood.
They say the U.S. Army acted recklessly in allowing training exercises to proceed on July 30, 2016, the day the Range 12 Fire started, despite a red flag fire warning.